One of the most important requirement for a passport application is having your passport photo. Make sure you follow the requirements of an acceptable passport photo.

You only need one passport photo to get a passport but they must be of high quality on a white background. The passport agency can be very strict with your passport photo so it’s important to get it right the first time so your passport application will not be delayed.

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Your passport photo must be:

  • a recent color photo taken within the last six months, printed in color, on photo quality paper.
  • 2”x2” in size (51mm x 51mm)
  • Head size must be between 1 inch and 1 ⅜ inches. You can visit the State Dept website here for more information.
  • No smiles. You must have a neutral facial expression. Directly face the camera. No shadows on your face.
  • Normal clothing. No uniforms, except for religious clothing worn daily.
  • Background must be white or off-white in color.
  • You cannot wear a hat or head covering. Nothing can cover your hair or hairline, unless you normally wear it daily for religious purposes.
  • No headphones, sunglasses, or similar items can be worn, unless it is a medical device worn daily. Medical certification may be required as proof.
  • Prescription glasses and hearing devices worn daily may be included. No glare on glasses or the photo will be rejected.
  • Make sure your eyes are visible. Do not have your hair or anything covering your face in any way.


Passport Photo Requirements are not flexible. If you are concerned about your photos, please visit a passport agency, CVS, Walgreens, or local photo shop that specializes in passport photos. You may reference the U.S. Department of State’s Passport Photo FAQ Page for additional information.

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What if my passport photo gets rejected ?

If your passport photo is rejected you will get a letter in the mail stating the applicants photo is not accept for one of many reasons.

Here are some reasons your passport photo an be not accepted.

Wearing a uniform
Taken to far away
Taken to close
Not 2×2
Taken on a colorful background
Taken with to much of a smile

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